Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Possible Link Between COVID-19 Severity and Periodontal Health

 The mouth is connected to the rest of the body.  While that probably seems a bit silly to read, sometimes people miss that fact.  Dentistry, being a separate profession from medicine sometimes leads to confusion in that arena.

However, things in the body can definitely affect the mouth while diseases of the mouth can most certainly cause problems in the rest of the body.  As just a small example of this, be sure to watch this video from the Dental Products Report Mastermind Series where Dr. Jeff Rode and I discuss this very subject.

Now comes information from a new study that indicates periodontal health, or lack thereof, can lead to adverse COVID-19 outcomes.  When you think about it logically, if a person is suffering from severe untreated periodontal disease, they have a chronic infection that their body is constantly working to contain.  This means that the body is putting constant resources to work trying to fight off a constant invasion of harmful bacteria.  These pathogens form on the plaque on the teeth and enter the bloodstream through the inflamed gums.  The body is working on fighting these germs 24/7.  This constant influx of pathogens take energy to fight off.  The body is always working to ward off these bad bugs.  

It makes sense that if the body is using energy to fight chronic p periodontal disease it has less energy to help fight off some other infection, such as SARS-CoV-2. 

The study is titled: 

Poor oral health status and adverse COVID-19 outcomes: a preliminary study in hospitalized patients

Key findings: : The present clinical study revealed that poor oral-health conditions, especially periodontitis, are associated with serious COVID-19 outcomes, bringing benefits for the comprehension about which risk factors affects the SARS-CoV-2 infection course and elucidating the needs of oral health care and the dental team in the prevention and handling of COVID-19 complications.

This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record.

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